Rasheed warns Fazl of paying the price if country goes towards anarchy

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Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed. — Screengrab
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed. — Screengrab

  • Rasheed says special powers to be given to FC, Rangers, police for 14 days for rallies in Islamabad.
  • Opposition should fear lest no-confidence move throws Pakistan into destabilisation.
  • Says said that PM Imran Khan will win regardless of his success or failure in the vote of no confidence.

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad on Wednesday warned Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman that he would have to "pay the price" if the joint Opposition's movement to overthrow Prime Minister Imran Khan puts the country into an anarchic situation.

"[The] Opposition should fear lest this no-confidence motion pushes country towards destabilisation," Rasheed said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.

Taking a jibe at Fazl, Rasheed asked what kind of remarks was he passing about the "batons dipped in oil" being a religious scholar.

“What would be its effects? Are you taking the country towards anarchy?” he asked. He said that all of Fazl's political allies would run away while he will be caught.

“The history of all these people [Opposition leaders] is that they play together. It is the tradition of PPP and PML-N that they put one hand on the sky and their feet on the ground,” Rasheed said.

The minister said that Fazl also used to do play politics in the same way, but it’s the first time he has become furious and playing the role of “maula jatt’.

“It’s a shame. You have huge respect as a religious leader but the language you are using is not highlighting the principles of Islam. 

"If it causes civil war and anarchy in the country, you’ll have to pay for it.”

'Everyone will be protected'

Moreover, Rasheed said that all members of Parliament will be protected ahead of the voting on the no-confidence motion.

He said that he will ask the National Assembly speaker about which day among March 28, 29 and 30 he would finalise for the vote of no confidence, which is due to be held after March 27 as per the rules.

Rasheed told the journalists that all members of Parliament will be protected, saying that he is handing over the security of the federal capital to Rangers, police and FC, giving them special authorities from March 20 to April 2.

Speaking about the recent incident in the Parliament Lodges, the minister said that it can’t be that someone brings their private militia to Parliament Lodges, where 260-270 families are living.

Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies have the full capability to deal with any situation, Rasheed said.

"We will not spare you if you take law into your own hands," he warned. 

Rasheed said that PM Imran Khan will be benefiting if he loses or wins in the vote of no confidence against him as his popularity among the masses has increased massively during the last three weeks.

He said that he would like to reiterate that PM Imran Khan will win with the will of the Almighty.

Taking a jibe at the joint Opposition, he said that three months ago when the government requested the PDM to delay their long march, they were adamant about marching towards Islamabad on March 23; however, now they have changed their decision.

On Tuesday, the PDM chief asked all the workers — from the Opposition parties — to reach the federal capital on the evening of March 25, noting that the Opposition did not "wish" for problems to arise for the OIC foreign ministers during their stay in Pakistan.

The interior minister assured that complete protection will be provided to everybody on March 25 — PDM's march — and March 27 — PTI's public gathering.

He asked the Opposition leaders to discuss the routes with DC Islamabad and warned that if anybody tries to take law into his/her hands will have to face severe consequences because the protection of people and law and order situation is the responsibility of the interior ministry and "we will fulfil our responsibilities."